Video: Five cool things you can do with a USB flash drive

Bill Detwiler shows you how to get the most from a USB flash drive with tips, like running mobile applications, speeding up Windows, and more.

These days, flash drives are ubiquitous among IT pros and end users alike. They're probably the most convenient way to temporarily store data since the floppy disk, but these pocket-sized workhorses can perform lots of timesaving tasks. During this episode of TR Dojo, I show you just a few of the cool things you can do with a USB flash drive, such as:

  1. Running portable applications and application suites (check out PortableApps.com)
  2. Booting Windows or Linux from the drive (check out these TechRepublic resources, "Create your own bootable USB flash drive for Windows XP", "SolutionBase: Puppy Linux teaches an old dog new tricks", and "Linux in your pocket: Run SLAX from your USB keychain")
  3. Speeding up Windows Vista or Windows 7 with ReadyBoost
  4. Creating a Windows password reset disk with the USB key instead of a floppy
  5. Using the flash drive like a key to lock your computer (check out Predator)

But, flash drives are a double-edged sword. They make it easy to carry around lots of data, but they also make it easy for individuals to walk off with lots of company information.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Greg Sultz's article, "10 cool things you can do with a USB flash drive," on which the episode is based.

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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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